Council slammed for “poor management” in Burntisland power supply row

The work will be complete before the fair arrives next month
The work will be complete before the fair arrives next month

Burntisland residents are demanding to know why £100,000 of funding from the town’s Common Good Fund is to be used to fund new electricity cables for the Links.

Councillors decided on Tuesday that replacement of the failing cables providing power to fairground caravans should be mainly financed from the fund which benefits the town.

Alex MacDonald

Alex MacDonald

Cllr Neil Crooks, chairman of the Kirkcaldy area committee, told members: “A matter of weeks ago it was brought to my attention that if the supply wasn’t fixed then the shows won’t go ahead this year. They benefit the whole area and we wouldn’t want to put that in jeopardy.”

In response to a question by Cllr Richard Watt on how much is paid into the Common Good Fund, Donald Grant, Kirkcaldy area manager, said: “The council pays a rental of the Links of £500 per year to the Common Good Fund. On top of that, any income from the shows and other activities goes into the parks service. ”

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Cllr Gordon Langlands who represents Burntisland, said: “I want to thank all the parties involved in putting this rescue party together. Without it the shows wouldn’t be able to return on May 25.”

He said that in 2017/18 the rental income from the showmen was £102,000.

“There’s lots of money kicking around and perhaps we should review the rental.”

Cllr Crooks described the Common Good Fund as “a bit of a grey area” and suggested questions be taken to a members meeting for more detail.

Residents took to social media calling for transparency by the council on how the fund works and where the fair’s rent money is spent.

Alex MacDonald, chairman of the community council, said: “Fife Council’s management of the electricity supply has been poor and it’s not appropriate for Burntisland’s Common Good Fund to pick up the tab. The Scottish Public Services Ombudsman has the power to investigate any instances of bias, neglect, inattention, delay, incompetence or ineptitude and we will consider at out next meeting whether to make a referral on that basis.”